Mapping out new markets
GPS navigation industry players are shifting their focus in line with market dynamics as global end-user preference drives the market toward smartphone navigation and affordable, connected automotive navigation solutions.
One of the companies navigating a way through the new market dynamics is Hungarian firm NNG, which now offers its flagship product, the iGO Navigation range to a wider audience. NNG, which develops and produces navigation solutions, is looking to expand its reach into new territories such as the Japanese and South Korean markets. The company is finding its way through the global economic challenges that have affected the navigation industry, with orders to ship over 20 million licenses of its iGO Navigation Software in the next three years.
The company saw an increase in year on year revenue of 44% in the first half of 2012. Its staff complement grew by 30% to 400 that same year, justifying the move to a bigger office building which won the “2012 Office of the Year” title. The upward trend is connected to NNG’s rise in sales in the automotive industry, currently the source of 80% of its business. In order to deliver the highest quality navigation solutions to its partners, NNG continues to focus its attention on targeting and employing the most talented and best-in-class software developers and programmers in Hungary. The company is rapidly expanding its roster of programming experts to meet the increasing demands of Tier 1 suppliers and automotive OEMs for its automotive iGO Navigation Software and connectivity offerings.
The company expects to hire 60 of the most qualified and talented software developers and programmers by the end of 2013. In order to support the goal of a more balanced gender ratio, NNG has launched a recruitment program which sets a 10% ratio for employing women. “The female perspective is invaluable in this business and there are a large number of talented women excelling in the IT sector. Some are already working with us, and we continue to seek out the most skilled experts of both genders to be part of the NNG team,” says Peter Balogh, CEO and Co-Founder of NNG.
NNG’s iGO Navigation Engine is an award-winning product which offers reliable navigation functionality for partners in 115 countries. The company’s most recent custom-built solution saw NNG partnering with the Russian automotive aftermarket provider, STOPOL Group. The agreement will allow NNG to attain significant growth in the Russian navigation business by providing its market-proven iGO navigation engine for one of the largest suppliers of automobile head-units, powered by maps from Nokia’s Location & Commerce business. NNG prides itself on its role as a leading navigation solutions provider for the automotive industry. Seven out of the ten of the biggest auto brands already use the iGO® Navigation Engine for their infotainment solutions.
In 2012, NNG partnered with Ayana Navigation Solutions (ANS) to launch the ANS Navigator App for the iPhone in India. The ANS Navigator App is designed to guide users to their destinations more quickly and safely by offering a set of advanced, location-specific features. The free Live Traffic function, available in 11 Indian cities, delivers real-time traffic information and automatically calculates alternative routes to avoid crowded road segments. The Point Addressing function allows users in 16 cities to enjoy the benefits of door-to-door navigation. Realistic junctions provide lifelike images of motorway junctions for easy orientation, while the Driver Alert, available in 20 cities, warns drivers of road regulations and situations requiring special attention, such as school zones. NNG says that its success is driven by continuous development and by its efforts to quickly and efficiently provide original innovation to the global market. To achieve this goal, NNG has formed partnerships with over 150 hardware manufacturers worldwide to provide hardware and automotive manufacturers, network operators, professional suppliers, and individual users with innovative and reliable navigation solutions in more than 115 countries in 46 different languages. In 2012 NNG marked its presence among the on-board navigation solution providers, surpassing 20 million licenses sold to line-fit OEM partners. Despite the declining global demand for Portable Navigation Devices, the company has maintained its legacy revenues from consumer markets, with a strong focus on emerging markets. “As a leading navigation solution provider, we are establishing new partnerships with Tier 1 suppliers in the automotive OEM industry. Seven out of the top 10 auto brands have selected our Navigation Engine for their infotainment systems. We have recorded significant results during the first half of this year, with 80% of our business coming from the automotive industry,” says Balogh.
NNG says that it recognizes that an end-to-end solution is key to meeting consumer expectations for fresh, connected features. The Company’s Naviextras.com portal offers online map and content updates to millions of users worldwide, providing support for more than a thousand different devices from more than 220 brands around the world. In the first half of 2012, Naviextras.com posted a 102% increase in revenue compared to the same the period in 2011. “The resources and assets that we have brought to bear in the market will continue to propel us toward our goal of shipping more than 20 million navigation engine licenses during the next three years,” says Balogh. Later this year, NNG will move to new headquarters in Budapest to accommodate its expanding roster of experts in software development. NNG is also expanding its global footprint to react more quickly to market demands. Asian markets are a major priority for NNG, with new regional offices in India and China that will provide localized expertise in those markets. The company plans to enter the Japanese market as its next step in the globalization strategy.